Have you ever wondered what a day of homesteading looks like when you have a full-time job? I still work a corporate job alongside being a homesteader and small business owner, so this post is a day in the life of me and juggling all those obligations!
Recently I made a few changes to some of the social media I have active for Life on Milo’s Farm and Homestead Soapery. Homestead Soapery is a soap studio and online soap and natural skincare business I run from the homestead and for a while I was running it independently to Life on Milo’s Farm.
The intent has always been to expand the shop eventually when we move to a bigger property and start selling more from the farm, but until then it’s just handmade soaps and a suite of natural skincare items!
As a result of these changes, I did have a Youtube channel in the name of Homestead Soapery but I rebranded that to Life on Milo’s Farm. I wanted more flexibility to develop content that wasn’t just a soap tutorial but more vlog style content about our projects (that which I write about on the blog) and if it so happens that a soap is being made that day, well, it can make up some of the vlog content for that episode.
In my first vlog episode for the Life on Milo’s Farm channel, I did a day in the life of an Aussie homesteader. Of course, this is not the typical day, nor is it the same day for many people – it’s just my day in the life in this present moment.
I’ve since evolved to having many different types of Day in the Life episodes, though they’re not always branded with that heading, about what homesteading looks like in my part of Australia.
Here we deal with a sub tropical climate, summer storms, wet seasons, flooding – and that’s just the environmental factors.
There’s a host of differences in homesteads in the north to those in the south, from what type of fruit and veg will grow successfully, to which types and breeds of livestock we can have and critically, which of the bad critters are in our neck of the woods.
It’s currently nearing the end of Autumn and heading into Winter, so I wanted to take you on a written journey of a Day in the Life in a different time of year.
Homesteading in the morning
The day starts early. The dogs wake me up needing to go outside and going back to sleep is pointless. After a few key cuddles and slobbery kisses, I roll out of bed and put my shoes on. No time to even change, because the urgency to go outside is now more prevalent that my feet hit the floor.
I kick the dogs out and put a hoodie on – it’s cold. This morning it’s only 10c (5of) and it’s been raining overnight. You never know if its fog or dew or left over rain in the overcast rain clouds but there’s a sprinkle on my face of wet. It feels nice and cool, and my lungs feel like they can take deep breaths. I love the cold, I always have.
I walk out to the chooks and the horse and get them out and fed. Everyone is ravenous from overnight, and the chooks are noticeably starting to not lay as much.
Whilst they don’t stop altogether because it doesn’t get as cold here as it does in the southern states for prolonged periods, they still drop off laying a little bit.
Hopefully, we can get the new chicken tractor made up soon so they can be moved around a bit more.
I’m back inside. Hard feed is made up for the horse already, the dogs and chooks are all fed and now its time to get breakfast for us.
We aren’t too flamboyant with breakfasts. It’s usually bacon and eggs, omelette or polenta porridge.
And coffee. Lots of coffee.
We often sit together for breakfast time and work through any major projects or activities we need to get done.
I log on for work. At the time of writing this post, I still have a day job in addition to being a homesteader!
After checking some emails and working out my tasks for the day, I tab back out and look at my personal tasks. I look at anything that needs to be done throughout the day.
It always starts with food prep – so I check my schedule for what meals we have planned. It’s always good to have meals planned out, not only for yourself to be organised, but to make sure you achieve everything you need that day.
Some meals need additional things from me, so if its a sourdough making day, I do that first.
I always check my schedule for the soapery and the blog.
Tuesdays is usually vlog editing day, so I make sure to have automated posts going up for the other social media profiles so I don’t have to worry about them.
I run a social media editorial calendar which gives me a basic outline of what type of posts I want to post on what day of the week. I don’t follow this strictly, as some days you may be doing something more exciting or offering different engagement, but it’s more to give me some reminders of what to post on those alternate or quieter days.
I try and make sure all my blog posting is written – even if its only in draft – and do any photography or content creation surrounding those blog posts. I post to Pinterest, the blog, Instagram and Facebook, and sometimes those different mediums need different post types.
After a few furious hours of writing copy, creating blog and social media graphics, answering emails and comments on social media and doing some other engagement, I take a break for morning tea.
Sometimes it’s an actual snack, sometimes it’s to go do a chore.
Currently, I’m starting my winter seedlings. I missed the autumn seedings because when I went to deep mulch my garden after some particularly wet weather, there was an influx of flies.
There is also a bush rat taking aim at what is left of my habanero’s, and so I am mindful of posting any beautiful seedling until he’s gone.
If it’s a sourdough baking day, I tend to the sourdough at this point. Whether it’s doing the folds or setting it for its next step of fermentation, this is done now.
Sourdough baking has become an incredibly important part of our routine and so maintaining the starter is a science in and of itself. I will be writing about my recipe and methodology soon, as I have had so much genuine curiosity and inquiry about it.
After morning tea, I make my way back to my office and get back onto some tasks.
I’m either running simulations or writing proposals, analysing data or reading research reports for work.
That takes a lot out of me, so I may be sipping my second cup of coffee by then. In fact, if you ran a probability simulation it would hit high percentage points!
If I need to change for the day I do so now.
Sometimes, there are days I don’t – and I have no shame in saying pyjama days are my favourite days!
But, if it’s a day I know I will be out again at some point or doing a particular chore, then I change and get ready.
My go-to is leggings, a long t-shirt or hoodie, a messy bun and boots. I don’t need to look pretty to do homestead chores!
During this part of the morning, I also make sure to clean the kitchen and load the dishwasher.
I often don’t have time immediately after breakfast to do this, as I need to start my IRL job or my husband is getting ready to go out and do some work.
There’s always a bit of flurry around that time of morning, so I often leave the kitchen as is and come back to it at morning tea time.
For some strange reason, I prefer being alone when cleaning. When my husband is inside he makes me anxious and gets in my way, so I prefer it when he is well outside!
At this time I load the dishwasher, hand wash any dishes that can’t go into the dishwasher, wipe the sink and benches and chuck the rubbish out.
I then grab a hamper, and go to each room loading up clothing, towels and the like for the washing machine.
I make the beds, I fluff the pillows and straighten the blankets. I do a quick 15 minute tidy up so I can plan the next lot of cleaning in the afternoon break.
As a child I was awful at keeping a straightened bed. But somehow, as I got older it comes as a source of comfort and makes me feel put together.
My mother will be laughing at me now, as she always kept a straightened bed and would screech at me for not doing so.
I guess sometimes as they say, the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree and some habits are inherited!
Homesteading at midday
As lunch nears I’m starting to feel peckish. I may warm-up some leftovers, and whilst doing so, make my way outside to check on the animals.
Keeping chooks and ducks and geese is fun, and they provide me with endless amounts of joy and laughter each day. If I haven’t already collected eggs, I do so now as it’s a little bit warmer in this part of the day – not drastically so – but enough to make it pleasant to go outside.
I check in with Mr Moose our 3/4 Clydesdale X QH. Because of the rain, he’s wearing his rain coat rug, so I just make sure all the connections are still ok and fastened properly, and that he’s not in a tangled mess.
Today specifically I am not yet back at work, but usually at this time I would be well into the afternoon shift.
I have a lady coming to collect some work pants I am selling on marketplace, so that’s a snazzy $20 for the cash hoard.
I also want to duck out to the country fruit market a few towns over. They had a bag of local organic ginger for sale for $5 for a 1kg bag, so I want to get some more for making ginger tea and to get some of the ginger rhizomes planted.
I also have little interest in cooking today and they do a lovely pork roast, so I’ll pick that up too.
I try and get into town if I do absolutely need to go in well before 2-3pm, to avoid school pick-up delays and traffic.
Today, due to the major flood risk and extreme rain (1o months worth in 5 days!), there is likely to be a few people out and about collecting goods like sandbags, or extra batteries.
You can never be prepared enough!
Homesteading in the afternoon
After returning from the country market and getting right back into work for a solid few hours, it’s now time for my afternoon tea break and chores.
I have a bit more leeway in the afternoons as most meetings and team requirements are in the morning, so if I have a few more breaks that’s ok.
Today I went out to change the trough water and clean it, change the hens water and check their bedding.
Some days I may start getting dinner together. I am really big on meal prepping so I often already have the cooked meat portion of a dinner ready to go.
Mince is an incredibly versatile dish and you can use it far and wide. So often I have mince that is made up in a very basic tomato based sauce with herbs that works really well with pasta’s, in chilli’s, meatball dishes etc.
When I do need to get dinner together, it most likely means the other accompanying thing such as if I’m making fresh bread, baking it out or, if I’m making pizza doughs or fresh pasta, getting the dough done.
The key word for me when it comes to homesteading is preparedness. Everything from the more serious things like food security to just having a solid meal prep plan – I am the queen and master of it. Not being prepared would give me anxiety I think!
As the day starts to wind down and the shift is coming to a close, I feed the animals for the evening and get the hens ready to go inside.
As dusk starts to settle in they’ll put themselves away, but the afternoon feeding just encourages them to be around their house until its time.
Moose is like a walking time teller – somehow he knows exactly when its night time feeding and will come in from the outer paddocks for dinner.
He otherwise spends the entire day walking and eating like most poo nuggets do!
The dogs also get fed at 4, and once I kick them out for the afternoon I then quickly sweep the house and I may do another task, like empty the dishwasher or clean the bathrooms.
I hate losing weekends to cleaning, and so despite my busy daily schedule I try and do a little bit each day so I am not overwhelmed by basic chores on the weekend.
The wind is picking up today, so there’s a bit of debris around. There is no point in tackling it now though as the wild weather is only going to continue for the next week.
I log off my IRL job for the day and head into the kitchen for a 30 minute break and a cup of tea.
A few things happen here usually – bread gets baked or pizza gets started.
Today is roast pork and vegetables so I’ll be putting them in the oven now. As it’s already dark I can see the chooks have put themselves away, so I quickly duck out to close them in for the night.
Dinner should be ready by 6.
Homesteading in the evening
After we’ve had dinner, hubby and I sit down to watch Youtube.
We usually watch all our favourite creators first, then something on one of the other streamers.
I’m particularly enjoying Dr Pol on Disney + at the moment. Whilst watching Dr Pol I’m already making my to-do list for the next day and planning what I need to work on.
Today I finished my vlog edit from a few weeks ago and am still patiently waiting for it to be uploaded. Tomorrow morning I’ll do my thumbnail and cover art, and get my description and copy written.
With both of us falling asleep on the couch as Dr Pol helps another cow with an LDA, we finally trudge off into bed after a looooong day! As homesteaders we need a lot of rest to be able to work these long days and get up at these early hours!
Then at 5:30AM, we do it all again! We are in a busy stage (but when are we not?!) right now with work and selling the beach house and the other homestead having insurance damage from the last flooding event. Sometimes it feels as if all I’m doing is keeping my head above water as I try and manage so many things all at once. Most importantly, despite being busy – we are joyous and happy – and we are doing great. We have a wonderful life that I am grateful for and I wouldn’t change a thing (except maybe hire someone to do yard work!)
I hope you enjoyed that post. Clink on the links below to read more about my homesteading Day in the Life posts or other homesteading related content!